We recently welcomed over 100 Bay Area interns to our office for an exclusive Q&A Panel with Matt Cohler (of Benchmark Capital and Facebook), Aditya Agarwal (VP of Engineering at Dropbox), our co-founders, Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein. This was our second annual event, and the conversation was squarely focused on the most pressing topic for students and new grads: what’s next, and how do I decide?
Following dinner and networking with Asana team members, we kicked off a panel discussion that flowed from tactical topics (like evaluating post-graduation options) to more personal anecdotes (like mistakes made, and things that you won’t learn in college).
We’ve collected the highlights of the event in this post, and hope you’ll share your opinions around this topic in the comments.
On evaluating your options post-graduation
With the vast possibilities facing new grads today, deciding which company to work for can be daunting. The key takeaways from our panel included weighing post-graduation options based on people, opportunities for learning, and putting less emphasis on short-term compensation.
Here are some highlights from the panelists:
Everyone makes mistakes, both during college and after. At Asana, we approach mistakes or missed goals as an opportunities for improving our processes. When something doesn’t work out as we planned, we start by asking “why?” And we keep asking until, by the fifth “why,” we’ve found the root of our problem. This is just one way to evaluate mistakes. The panelists emphasized that learning from whatever mistakes you might make can help you define your unique path.
What college didn’t teach you
The most important thing a new grad can focus on immediately upon graduation is their comparative advantage. Creating value for yourself and the world around you is amplified when you have an edge over everyone else –and so is your potential for making an impact. In order to capitalize on your comparative advantage, focus on what you know best — whether it’s a specific coding language, negotiating partnerships, or anything in between. By leaning on your strengths at the beginning of your career, you’ll quickly become an expert who can drive maximum value both within your organization as well as across the span your career.
Do you have sage advice for students and new grads on how to choose their first job out of college? Please share it in the comments.
Are you a new grad? We’re hiring!